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The Executive Master’s Degree Challenging The Traditional MBA

Marina Arnaout chose London School of Economics’ Executive Global Masters in Management (EGMiM) because she wanted something broader than a conventional MBA


By  Elle Ayres

Fri Mar 1 2019

While an MBA degree is the typical choice for experienced professionals wanting to level up their career, there are plenty of alternative options out there.

The Executive Global Masters in Management (EGMiM) offered by London School of Economics is a prime example.

The 17-month part-time program is tailored for busy working professionals, requiring a maximum of nine weeks out of the office and taught through seven one-to-two-week intensive classroom modules.

An alternative to a traditional MBA, the masters includes the same core teachings in subjects such as the foundations of management and organizational behavior, whilst also maximizing the university’s offering as one of the best in the world for social sciences.

Students at LSE don’t just learn to use management models; they are taught to ask why. Five modules are taught on LSE’s London campus, providing a broad, socio-economic lens through which to approach the theory behind management leadership.

The EGMiM’s marketing and entrepreneurship in emerging markets module currently takes place in Bangalore, and Beijing plays host to a foreign direct investment and emerging markets course.

Marina Arnaout is one Executive Global Masters in Management student who can vouch for its place as a prime competitor to the MBA.

As regional head of digital at software company SAS, Marina was working with emerging markets in Latin America helping to develop their global digital strategy. It is this which piqued her interest in the EGMiM.

“I wanted to enhance my global footprint and study at an institution with a broader focus than just management,” Marina explains, “This meant looking elsewhere than just the standard North American MBA.”

While looking into the EGMiM, Marina received a job offer from Microsoft, so she upped sticks, left Toronto and headed for London.

“It was one of those 'now or never' moments and I decided to go for it,” she beams, explaining that everyone on the course is going through a transition and using the degree to pivot their career and push themselves outside of their comfort zone.

One aspect of the EGMiM that Marina plans to explore further post-graduation is her dissertation on artificial intelligence and the consumer journey. Unlike many MBA degrees, EGMiM students can choose to complete an academic dissertation in any field that interests them.

There is also the option of a capstone project to generate a new business model. This has the pillars of critical thinking, writing and research at its core, culminating in a 6000-word report. The project also highlights the academic rigor and theory-first approach of the school which encourages business leaders to think in a broader and more challenging way.

Marina hopes to be a trailblazer in her dissertation subject, explaining that she was motivated by the evident gap in the available research on the topic. Her account management job at Microsoft only helps to marry her interests between her professional and academic work.

With 23 nationalities in Marina’s class alone, she cites the diversity of the class as what makes LSE’s  Executive Global Masters in Management stand out.

While all good MBAs are global, the EGMiM’s diversity isn’t just down to internationality, but the varied academic as well as professional backgrounds of the cohort—another benefit of studying at a school not defined by business alone.